Proverbs 24:9
A foolish scheme is sin, and a mocker is detestable to men.
The Nature of Evil ThoughtsR. Fiddes, D.D.Proverbs 24:9
The ScornerR. Fiddes, D.D.Proverbs 24:9
The Thought of FoolishnessE. Johnson Proverbs 24:9
Some Traits of Folly and SinE. Johnson Proverbs 24:7-10

It will be well to be on our guard against a possible mistake here; for next in importance to our knowledge of what things are wrong and hurtful, is our freedom from imaginary fears and morbid anxieties respecting those things which are perfectly innocent and pure. We look, then, at -


1. The serious but not taken thoughts of childhood or of uneducated manhood. It is not every thought which cannot be characterized as wisdom that must be condemned as "foolishness." The honest attempts of artless simplicity to solve problems or to execute commands may be honourable and even commendable failures; they are the conditions of growth.

2. The lighter thoughts of the cultured and mature, thoughts of merriment and frolicsomeness, moving to honest laughter, are far from being sinful. They are clearly in accordance with the will of the Divine Father of our spirits, who is the Author of our nature, with its faculties and tendencies; they are often found to be a necessary relief under the otherwise intolerable strain of oppressive care and burdensome toil. One of the most serious and one of the most kind-hearted and successful servants of our race (Abraham Lincoln) was only saved from complete mental derangement during the terrible time of the civil war by finding occasional refuge in humour. But what are -

II. THE THOUGHTS WHICH ARE HERE CONDEMNED? The thoughts of foolishness.

1. Our responsibility for our thoughts. Impalpable and fugitive as they are, our thoughts are a very real part of ourselves, and they constitute a serious part of our responsibility to God. That they do so is clear; for:

(1) On them everything in human life and action ultimately depends. Action depends on will, will on feeling, and feeling on thought. It is what we think and how we think that determines what we do and what we are. "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." Thought is the very foundation of character.

(2) Thought is free. We may be compelled to speak or to act in certain prescribed ways; but we are masters of our own minds, and we can think as we like. How we think depends on our own volition.

(3) We either choose deliberately the subject of our thoughts (by selecting our friends, our books and papers, our topics of conversation), or we are led to think as we do by the mental and moral character which we have been deliberate]y forming; we are responsible for the stream because we are responsible for the spring.

2. The sinful character of foolish thoughts. Foolish thoughts may be

(1) irreverent, and all irreverence is sin; or they may be

(2) selfish, and all selfishness is sin; or

(3) impure, and all impurity is sin; or

(4) unkind and inconsiderate, unloving or vindictive, and all unkindness is sin; or

(5) short-sighted and worldly, and all worldliness is sin (1 John 2:15-17). The conclusion of the whole matter is that if we would be right with God, "harmless and blameless," we must be right in our "inward thought" (see Hebrews 4:12); and that if we would be right there, in those central depths or our nature, we must

(a) place our whole nature under the direct rule of the Holy One himself;

(b) seek daily fop the cleansing influences of his Holy Spirit, the continual renewal of our mind by his inspiration;

(c) "keep our hearts beyond all keeping" (Proverbs 2:23), especially by welcoming, with eagerness and delight, all the wisdom of God that we can gather from his Word. - C.

The thought of foolishness is sin.
I. WHAT IS MEANT BY THE "THOUGHT OF FOOLISHNESS"? Folly and sin signify the same thing in Scripture. We are not to understand thoughts of pure speculation as simple acts of the understanding; nor even a thought of sudden and transient inclination towards sin, which arises in our minds before we are aware and which we endeavour to stifle. Though such thoughts are sinful in their first rise and tendency, when the imagination has been long heated or their hearts corrupted by any criminal excess or disorder. We are to understand by a thought of foolishness one of complacency. Such a thought as the will not only consents to entertain, but which the mind delights to dwell and dilate itself upon. These evil thoughts proceed from some vicious reigning passion, or perhaps presumptuous sin. To give way to such vain and foolish thoughts is an argument of a mind very much turned and estranged from God. Such impure and loose thoughts are directly contrary to the fruits of the Spirit, and to those precepts of Holy Scripture which require us to be spiritually-minded. Many mistakenly think there is no sin in dwelling on evil thoughts, so long as they abstain from gross external acts of sin.


1. Take care to be always usefully or at least innocently employed.

2. Carefully examine what those things are which have been most apt to excite evil thoughts in us. And refrain from company, books, and circumstances which influence us for evil.

3. Evil thoughts frequently arise from prevailing natural temper.

4. Live under a constant sense of God's presence and inspection over us.

5. All rules and directions will avail but little toward the better government of our thoughts without the illuminating and sanctifying graces of the Spirit of God.

(R. Fiddes, D.D.)

And the scorner is an abomination to men

1. He is one who runs counter to the general reason and maxims whereby the rest of mankind govern themselves. He places his greatest glory in those disorders which the rest of mankind are most ashamed of.

2. He is one who delights to walk in the way of sinners.

3. He would be thought of as believing that there is no God.

4. He delights in ridiculing those persons or things which have a more immediate relation to God.

5. The greatest effort of the scorner is against that order of men whose peculiar office it is to minister in things pertaining to God.

6. He makes it his business to confound the distinction of virtue and vice, to call evil good and good evil.


1. His common swearing.

2. His profaneness.

3. His confounding the distinction of virtue and vice.


1. Men generally entertain a secret esteem and veneration for religion.

2. Take care to keep ourselves at as far a distance as possible from the profane temper of mind of the scorner. Never think of God, or speak of Him, save with reverence. Be careful not to obstruct the influence of religious considerations on our hearts.

(R. Fiddes, D.D.)

Abomination, Authority, Detest, Detested, Devising, Disgusting, Folly, Foolish, Foolishness, Hater, Mocker, Purpose, Schemes, Scoffer, Scorner, Sin
1. Precepts and Warnings

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Proverbs 24:9

     8760   fools, characteristics
     8782   mockery

Proverbs 24:8-9

     6186   evil scheming

The Sluggard's Garden
'I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; 31. And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down.'--PROVERBS xxiv. 30, 31. This picture of the sluggard's garden seems to be intended as a parable. No doubt its direct simple meaning is full of homely wisdom in full accord with the whole tone of the Book of Proverbs; but we shall scarcely do justice to this saying of the wise
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Broken Fence
A sermon (No. 3381) published on Thursday, November 20th 1913. Delivered by C. H. Spurgeon at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington. "I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; and to, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down, Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it and received instruction."--Proverbs 24:30-32. This slothful man did no hurt to his fellow-men:
C.H. Spurgeon—Sermons on Proverbs

The Sluggard's Farm
A sermon (No. 2027) intended for reading on Lord's Day, June 3rd 1888, delivered by C. H. Spurgeon at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington. "I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down. Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction."--Proverbs 24:30-32. No doubt Solomon was sometimes glad
C.H. Spurgeon—Sermons on Proverbs

Epistle xxxvi. To Maximus, Bishop of Salona .
To Maximus, Bishop of Salona [113] . Gregory to Maximus, &c. When our common son the presbyter Veteranus came to the Roman city, he found me so weak from the pains of gout as to be quite unable to answer thy Fraternity's letters myself. And indeed with regard to the nation of the Sclaves [114] , from which you are in great danger, I am exceedingly afflicted and disturbed. I am afflicted as suffering already in your suffering: I am disturbed, because they have already begun to enter Italy by way
Saint Gregory the Great—the Epistles of Saint Gregory the Great

The Portrait of a Drunkyard
'Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? 30. They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. 31. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. 32. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder. 33. Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things. 34. Yea, thou shalt be as
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

2 Cor. Iii. 5
Not that we are sufficient of our selves, to think any thing as of our selves: but our Sufficiency is of God. IN my former Discourse upon these Words, I shewed you that it was the sole Design of St. Paul in them, to declare, that, in the setting about, and executing, the difficult and laborious Work of an Apostle, He did not arrogate to himself the Power, and Ability, and Success, which he had: but that he ascribed his Sufficiency for this great Work, as well as his being designed to it, to God himself,
Benjamin Hoadly—Several Discourses Concerning the Terms of Acceptance with God

How to Make Use of Christ for Taking the Guilt of Our Daily Out-Breakings Away.
The next part of our sanctification is in reference to our daily failings and transgressions, committed partly through the violence of temptations, as we see in David and Peter, and other eminent men of God; partly through daily infirmities, because of our weakness and imperfections; for, "in many things we offend all," James iii. 2; and, "if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us," 1 John i. 8; "a righteous man falleth seven times," Prov. xxiv. 16; "there is not
John Brown (of Wamphray)—Christ The Way, The Truth, and The Life

The Justice of God
The next attribute is God's justice. All God's attributes are identical, and are the same with his essence. Though he has several attributes whereby he is made known to us, yet he has but one essence. A cedar tree may have several branches, yet it is but one cedar. So there are several attributes of God whereby we conceive of him, but only one entire essence. Well, then, concerning God's justice. Deut 32:4. Just and right is he.' Job 37:23. Touching the Almighty, we cannot find him out: he is excellent
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

The Necessity of Actual Grace
In treating of the necessity of actual grace we must avoid two extremes. The first is that mere nature is absolutely incapable of doing any thing good. This error was held by the early Protestants and the followers of Baius and Jansenius. The second is that nature is able to perform supernatural acts by its own power. This was taught by the Pelagians and Semipelagians. Between these two extremes Catholic theology keeps the golden mean. It defends the capacity of human nature against Protestants and
Joseph Pohle—Grace, Actual and Habitual

Meditations on the Hindrances which Keep Back a Sinner from the Practice of Piety.
Those hindrances are chiefly seven:-- I. An ignorant mistaking of the true meaning of certain places of the holy Scriptures, and some other chief grounds of Christian religion. The Scriptures mistaken are these: 1. Ezek. xxxiii. 14, 16, "At what time soever a sinner repenteth him of his sin, I will blot out all," &c. Hence the carnal Christian gathers, that he may repent when he will. It is true, whensoever a sinner does repent, God will forgive; but the text saith not, that a sinner may repent whensoever
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety

Scriptures Showing the Sin and Danger of Joining with Wicked and Ungodly Men.
Scriptures Showing The Sin And Danger Of Joining With Wicked And Ungodly Men. When the Lord is punishing such a people against whom he hath a controversy, and a notable controversy, every one that is found shall be thrust through: and every one joined with them shall fall, Isa. xiii. 15. They partake in their judgment, not only because in a common calamity all shares, (as in Ezek. xxi. 3.) but chiefly because joined with and partakers with these whom God is pursuing; even as the strangers that join
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

A Treatise on Good Works
I. We ought first to know that there are no good works except those which God has commanded, even as there is no sin except that which God has forbidden. Therefore whoever wishes to know and to do good works needs nothing else than to know God's commandments. Thus Christ says, Matthew xix, "If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments." And when the young man asks Him, Matthew xix, what he shall do that he may inherit eternal life, Christ sets before him naught else but the Ten Commandments.
Dr. Martin Luther—A Treatise on Good Works

Many specimens of the so-called Wisdom Literature are preserved for us in the book of Proverbs, for its contents are by no means confined to what we call proverbs. The first nine chapters constitute a continuous discourse, almost in the manner of a sermon; and of the last two chapters, ch. xxx. is largely made up of enigmas, and xxxi. is in part a description of the good housewife. All, however, are rightly subsumed under the idea of wisdom, which to the Hebrew had always moral relations. The Hebrew
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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